Mubarak to go under house arrest if freed

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Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak will be placed under house arrest if he is freed from prison, the interim government has ordered.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said that he ordered Mubarak be put under house arrest as part of the emergency measures put in place this month, Reuters reported.

“In the context of the emergency law, the deputy military commander issued an order that Mohamed Hosni Mubarak should be put under house arrest,” the statement said.

Mubarak, who was toppled in a 2011 popular uprising, is expected to be released from a Cairo prison on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, a court convened at the Cairo jail where Mubarak is held and ordered the release of the former president who ruled Egypt for 30 years.

The order for Mubarak’s release followed an appeal by his lawyers in one of his corruption cases. He is also on trial on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising against him that could put him back behind bars.

The 85-year-old was sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to prevent the killing of demonstrators during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. However, a court accepted his appeal earlier this year and ordered a retrial.

He faces investigation into at least two other corruption cases as well.

Mubarak’s release is expected to deepen the crisis in the North African country that was triggered when the army overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

“The government knows that if Mubarak is freed there will be public outrage, but a court decision is a court decision,” said Mohamed Abolghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Morsi supporters called on the Egyptians to hold “Friday of Martyrs” demonstrations across the country to protest against his ouster.

Egyptian security forces have arrested hundreds of Morsi’s supporters in recent days as the military-backed government has tried to end weeks of protests and to stamp its authority on the deeply polarized North African nation.

Almost 900 people, including nearly 100 soldiers and police, have died in the country since August 14, when security forces of the interim government launched a brutal crackdown on thousands of peaceful pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo.

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